Afghanistan has received the fourth and final Lockheed Martin-built C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft from the US.
The new delivery will offer the Afghan Air Force with enhanced airlift, resupply and casualty evacuation capabilities. The country received the first three aircraft in 2013 and 2014.
Afghanistan Security Assistance Office Combined Security Transition Command deputy director lieutenant colonel Tyler Faulk said: "These C-130s are the Afghan Air Force’s first four engine aircraft with this type of expanded capability.
"This fleet allows them to transport supplies or troops within Afghanistan, as well as to partner nations, where they can execute missions, trainings and exercises; a whole host of international activities."
The medium-lift aircraft will be capable of expediting troop and supply movement.
Prior to the delivery of these aircraft, Afghanistan’s aviators, mechanics and loadmasters have received training from the US. The country will now conduct regular maintenance and training.
Afghan Air Force captain Muhammad Azimy said: "We need to support more troops, moving them as soon as possible from one point to another, getting them into the fight faster.
"Getting commandos from the north to the south by helicopter would take days, but by C-130 it will take only a few hours."
The C-130 Hercules is designed to support airborne assault, search-and-rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, maritime patrol and aerial fire fighting missions worldwide.
The aircraft is currently operational with the air forces of Australia, Indonesia, Canada, Denmark, India, Italy, Norway, Qatar, the US and the UK.
Image: Afghanistan’s fourth C-130 Hercules taxis at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul. Photo: courtesy of US Military photo / Capt Eydie Sakura.